Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects your large intestine and can cause pain, diarrhea, and gas but does no permanent damage according to the Mayo Clinic. By managing your diet, stress, and making lifestyle changes you can control irritable bowel syndrome. A cause has not been found but if you have IBS your muscles along the large intestine react differently than normal during digestion and may result in diarrhea or in some cases constipation depending upon how your muscles move food along the colon.
Complications may arise from irritable bowel syndrome that can be dealt with on a daily basis. While there is no known cure for the disease, you can take steps to help ease the complications of this sometimes unruly medical condition.
Both the Mayo Clinic and MedicineNet both state that if you avoid certain foods with irritable bowel syndrome you will need to make up the nutritional difference somewhere else. Weight loss may happen if you start cutting back on calories in response to food avoidance.
As such, keeping a daily log of your food intake may help. Your doctor may advise you to seek the help of a licensed dietician to help picking out relevant food choices when you have concerns about what foods to eat. There are several books on how to eat with IBS that you can purchase on Amazon.
Irregularities regarding bowel movements may aggravate hemorrhoids if you have them. WebMD states that chronic diarrhea, which is common with irritable bowel syndrome, may overwork the veins near the anal canal and cause hemorrhoids. Constipation, which can also be a symptom of IBS, can cause straining during defecation which can also lead to hemorrhoids.
There are many types of over the counter medications that can help ease the pain of hemorrhoids. Your doctor can also discuss methods of treatment. Trying to ensure you have regular bowel movements can be helpful in limiting hemorrhoids as a complication of IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome may also lead to a change in your daily activities. If diarrhea is a problem it can lead to spending more and more time at home. You may find yourself going places closer and closer to your house or limiting your trips in case you have to go to the bathroom quickly. You may also wait to go out when someone else is at home to watch the kids so you can have the freedom to get to a bathroom quicker if you need to.
There is no easy answer to how your daily life may change with irritable bowel syndrome. Simply letting your family know about what to expect with IBS may be one way to ease the strain. The people closest to you will certainly be the most understanding in terms of you dealing with a medical condition that alters your daily life in small yet important ways.
Consult with your doctor if you have changes in bowel habits. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as actual medical advice.
The Mayo Clinic, WebMD, and MedicineNet all contributed information for this article.